The Wild World of Autos: 15 of the Weirdest Cars Ever Made

While automakers always push the creative envelope with new designs and concepts, it doesn’t always work out. Sometimes, their creativity gets out of control. This is how we end up with some unique, bizarre car designs. 

Whether you like them or not, these are some of the weirdest cars we’ve seen in the past 100 years. 

1. 1956 Fiat 600 Multipla

1956 Fiat 600 Multipla
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The Fiat 600 Mulipla might be the most uncomfortable vehicle ever designed for six people. The tiny vehicle had a .6-cylinder engine that put out a dismal 21 horsepower. With six humans in the car, 21 horsepower can barely get the Mulipla up to 50 miles per hour. Somehow, this miniature van-like vehicle was produced for a decade. 

2. 1970 Bond Bug

1970 Bond Bug
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The Bond Bug was one of the three-wheeled cars being produced in Europe during the 60s and 70s. It looks like a flathead screwdriver more than a car. Reliant, its parent company, priced the car above the rival 4-door Mini. Otherwise, they might have sold more units. Still, a few remaining models have survived, and they’re highly collectible. 

3. Peel P50

Lviv, Ukraine - October 5: Limited edition series. The smallest car in the world Peel P50, on October 5, 2016 in Lviv, Ukraine.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

One of the smallest cars ever produced was this Peel P50, made on the Isle of Man in the UK during the mid-60s. The car was built on a chassis with two wheels in the front and one directly underneath the cockpit. The car was powered by a single-cylinder engine with a top speed of 37 miles per hour. It was so lightweight that it didn’t need a reverse gear; you could just push it back with your foot. 

4. 1948 TASCO Prototype

1948 TASCO Prototype
Image Credit: The Hagerty Group, LLC.

Automobile designer Gordon Buehrig worked for several years before starting The American Sports Car Company. This prototype was oddly long and resembled the nose of an airplane. It ended up being too expensive to produce, but it did make the T-top convertible design popular in future cars. 

5. Yamaha OX99-11

Yamaha OX99-11
Image Credit: Morio – GFDL/Wiki Commons.

In 1992, Yahama was trying to cash in on the rising exotic car trend. They borrowed many features of Formula-1 race car designs, including the driver sitting in the middle of the vehicle, with the passenger directly behind. Yamaha produced three of these models, and they were impressive. However, the company declared the car would never work at a commercial level. 

6. 1968 Oldsmobile/American Quality Coach Jetway 707

American Quality Coach Jetway 707
Image Credit: Buch-t – CC BY 3.0/Wiki Commons.

The Quality Coach Jetway 707 was built to try to blend driving with the glamor of flying in the 1960s. A combination of a station wagon and a limo, the Coach could fit up to 15 people in its 28-foot-long body. Known as the “Airport Car,” the 52 units produced were used to shuttle customers to and from the airport. Some are in car museums today. 

7. Chrysler Turbine Car

Chrysler Turbine Car
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Chrysler produced this concept car in 1963 and 1964. The car had a turbine engine that could run off diesel, unleaded gasoline, kerosene, and even tequila if you had any in your liquor cabinet. The company built 55 units, but their sluggish acceleration, horrible fuel economy, and extremely loud engine noise put customers off. Nine are said to still exist. One is in The Henry Ford Museum. 

8. Dymaxion

Dymaxion
Image Credit: Kuroczynski – CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

American inventor Buckminster Fuller had high expectations when he designed the Dymaxion. The tube-like frame had a single-steerable rear wheel and two front wheels with a Ford flathead V8 mounted in the rear. The most interesting feature was that Fuller expected to make the vehicle capable of flying in the future. Unfortunately, steering proved to be dangerous; a test driver crashed and died. The plans were scrapped, and only one remains in the National Auto Museum in Reno, Nevada. 

9. 1910 Reeves-Overland Octoauto

1910 Reeves-Overland Octoauto
Image Credit: Sixmania.fr.

Indiana’s Milton Reeves made various advancements to the early engines of horseless carriages. In 1910, he tried to help cars navigate rough roads and added four extra wheels to an existing Overland, trying to mimic the locomotive technology. The changes made the car longer and more expensive, which killed the demand.

10. Birdseye Pea Car

Birdseye Pea Car
Image Credit: Asylum Models & Effects Ltd.

Birds Eye, a U.S.-based frozen food company, made this promotional vehicle look like a little pea on wheels. You can’t help but laugh at these funny little vehicles. It was built on a go-kart chassis but could still hit 50 miles per hour. It was so popular that it was re-produced in 2005 in London. 

11. Leyat Helica

Leyat Helica
Image Credit: MrWalkr – CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

When aspiring French airplane manufacturer Marcel Leyat ran out of money in 1909, he turned his sights on making automobiles. The Helica was his vision of a plane without wings. Equipped with a wooden propeller and lightweight design, the car could reach speeds over 100 miles per hour. It was popular at the 1921 Paris Auto Show, but only 30 were produced. Over 100 years later, there are only four remaining Leyat Helicas. 

12. Stout Scarab

Stout Scarab
Image Credit: Jim Evans – CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

The Stout Scarab has been called the first version of the minivan. The vehicle was unlike any other car on the market. It’s difficult to tell the front from the back due to its aerodynamic design. It looks like an aluminum Twinkie on wheels. The vehicle could comfortably seat six, and marketing reps labeled it an office on wheels. There are five remaining Stouts around today, one being in the Detroit Historical Museum. 

13. 2003 Chevrolet SSR

2003 Chevrolet SSR
Image Credit: FaceMePLS from The Hague, The Netherlands – CC BY 2.0/Wiki Commons.

Who knows what the Chevrolet execs were thinking when they unveiled the SSR? It was part truck, part roadster, and part hot rod, but it didn’t appeal to truck drivers or sports car enthusiasts. Chevy wised up and scrapped the idea a few years later, making SSRs on the road today a rare sight. 

14. 1983 Glenfrome Facet

1983 Glenfrome Facet
Image Credit: Horseneck Media LLC.

Is this an everyday car or a vehicle ready for a lunar landing? Built by a British automaker for the Middle East market, the Facet was built on a stripped-down Range Rover body. With a price tag of 55,000 Euros, which translates to $250,000 in today’s money, very few were sold. Car lovers still wonder why someone would ruin a perfectly good Range Rover to make such an odd car.

15. Oscar Mayer Weiner Mobile

Oscar Mayer Weiner Mobile
Image Credit: TheDoctorWho – CC BY-SA 4.0/Wiki Commons.

Some say this is one of the weirdest vehicles on the road, but I think the Weiner Mobile is one of the coolest. Whoever thought of making a giant hot dog on wheels is a genius and should have gotten a hefty raise. Whenever one of these pulls into a parking lot, the cameras will come out. Makes you wonder why we don’t see more giant foods on wheels driving down the highway.

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